Speaking to Speedweek, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer announced that the Austrian company will be entering the MotoGP World Championship in 2017. KTM will race with a brand new machine that features a V4 engine and will be called the KTM RC16.

Pierer said that KTM will debut the V4 engine in May of 2015, and begin testing and developing the RC16 later that year — KTM may even wild-card the race bike during the 2016 season. Perhaps the biggest news though is that KTM plans to produce up to 100 units of the KTM RC16 race bike, which will be available to the public for a cool €150,000 to €200,000 (likely in the same way privateers can purchase a lower-spec machine than KTM’s Moto3 racer).

Developed specifically for the race track, the KTM RC16 isn’t quite a homologation special, in the same way that Honda’s consumer-version of the RCV1000R will be, if it ever finally comes to market. Instead, the KTM RC16 will be for well-pocketed track enthusiasts. For all that coin, owners can expect 1,000cc V4 lump (likely making over 200hp), a steel trellis frame, and WP suspension pieces.

Another interesting thing of note is that while the RC16 is being considered a direct replacement for the RC8 superbike, KTM is taking its cue from the EU Commission, which has been mulling performance restrictions on superbikes. Saying that no street bike should have 200hp, Pierer foresees KTM’s future “superbike” being track-only machines going forth.

Turning to the race track, there’s no word yet on what pricing will be for GP teams, though we would expect to see a price tag in the millions-of-euros range. Today’s news makes KTM one of a handful new manufacturers to show their interest in MotoGP, as Suzuki will return to the paddock for the 2015 season, and Aprilia will field a revised Open Class entry machine based on the RSV4 next season, before brining a full-prototype in 2016.

KTM will hopes to have the RC16 ready for purchase by GP teams by the 2017 season, and Pierer says that KTM will not field a factory team in MotoGP. Instead, the Austrian brand will operate in MotoGP the same way it has in Moto3, supplying machines to strong private teams, and working with them on development and support.

Stay tuned for more information, as we get it.

Source: Speedweek via Motorcycle.com

  • irksome

    The more, the merrier.

  • Bruce Almighty

    I like the idea of OEMs bringing track-only Superbikes to the dealer floor. Priced for a broader consumer group would be nice.

  • BackSlash_cu

    Good news for the MotoGP people, More constructors on the way. Only Kawasaki and few mores are missing on the mix. Things looks better than before. Aprillia, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, “KTM”, great!

  • Mitch

    Are constructors being lured back by changes like a spec ECU? If the result is more competitors, then in a sense you could judge what FIM is doing as good…

  • RC8 owner


  • Agent

    Fan-friggin-tastic, KTM using their Moto3 approach makes a lot of sense, thanks to the spec ECU that will be in place by then.

  • Jimbo

    This is great news – the more factory teams in the paddock the better! Just need to see Kwakers back on the grid and maybe tempt Triumph in – see if they want to create their own version of the “Cube” that used to set Colin Edwards on fire!

  • And then pigs flew.

  • sunstroke

    Not surprising. 24L with a rev-limit and spec ECU is going to draw interest from smaller manufacturers.

  • BBQdog

    “Saying that no street bike should have 200hp, Pierer foresees KTM’s future “superbike” being track-only machines going forth.”

    Ha ha, many older of you will still remember the 100hp discussion.
    ‘100hp is more then enough’.

  • “Ha ha, many older of you will still remember the 100hp discussion.”

    I do, and all these years later I am still of the personal opinion that 100 HP is too much for the average rider to manage.

    I’m very, very much looking forward to seeing what KTM can manage in the premier class. We’ll see just how ready to race they really are.

  • DFR

    The RC8 was/is a great machine, but smaller engines are a large part of the future for most brands. As with cars, HP on motorcycles has just eclipsed to ungodly levels. I’ve been riding for 40+ years (yep, an old fart…!), and my two bikes total over 360 HP. That’s far MORE than enough HP for the most seasoned riders.

    Anyway, KTM is still on the right track with the RC16, and they keep doing great things!!! Kudos to a forward thinking manufacturer!

  • Dr. Gellar

    Excellent….perhaps MotoGP will be worth watching again by 2017.

    So we could have Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki, Aprilia and KTM on the grid in 2017. Definitely a good thing…six manufacturers (as factory, satellite or private teams) would make MotoGP a healthy looking series once again, as it appeared when MotoGP first went four-stroke in the early 2000’s. Hopefully we will see more sponsors will put their hat into the series as well. If chassis manufacturers like Kalex or FTR or others decide to enter the class as well, that would be icing on the cake. If this all comes to fruition, it just goes to show how foolish it was to let the MSMA (cough, Honda, cough) call the shots with regards to MotoGP rule-making all these years.

    I wonder if KTM’s model of producing 100 or so track-only bikes for the public, should other manufacturers follow this idea, might be the key to being GP-level racing back to national championship-level racing (like Formula 1 and 250 GP during the mid-late 80’s in the AMA series).

  • mxs

    I wish they rather focus on setting up their dealer network in North America and start selling something else than off-road bikes in decent numbers.